Thursday, February 11, 2010

Number Four

Ear infection number four! As I said the last time I was complaining about Eli's sleep, it was because of his ears. After that last infection we had about a week of decent sleep and then it was back to terrible sleeping. I was thisclose to bringing him back to the Dr last week because we had some really bad nights. But I didn't want to be the over-reacting mother who brings her son in when he's not sleeping well to find out it's just teething (remember he's still getting molars in, not to mention more teeth on the bottom too). So, we just dealt with the night wakings and the crying and the kicking the Hubs to the couch because Eli absolutely would not let me put him down in his bed. Well, Tuesday night Eli started running a fever and had no other symptoms other than a little runny nose. I just knew it was his ears. So off to the Dr we went yesterday. And sure enough, his ears were infected. They weren't as bad as last time (which was just a month ago) but they were definitely not healthy ears. That makes ear infection number four.. in only a little over five months. My poor little guy had to get another shot and round of antibiotics. Now the next step it going to see the ENT. We've been referred and will be going to the on Feb 23.

The more the Hubs and I talked about Eli's sleep issues, the more we started to realize that his bad sleep started when he had his first ear infection, which was around the first of September. Since then his sleep has been horrible and since then he has had three more ear infections. Yes, there have been days, even sequence of days that he has slept all night but it has been few and far between. It just makes sense to tie the two together. I'm praying that's it anyway.

I don't think the fact that I'm still nursing him is keeping him up. I'm just stating that because I know there may be those out there who think that's part of the problem. It just doesn't go with everything else. Like I said before, after the last ear infection, we had a week of good sleep. 5 nights out of that week he slept all night long. I felt GREAT! Then everything went down hill. And here we are, 3 weeks later with another ear infection. So, it just makes sense that he gets up when he doesn't feel well. And after last night, which was a doozy, I know he is comforted by nursing when he is in pain. And although it completely wears me out and even frustrates me, I was glad to be able to comfort him. He would cry, then as soon as he started to nurse he'd stop and relax. Then he'd roll over to fall asleep and he'd start crying again. Then we'd do that over and over until the pain medicine kicked in.

You see, I am exhausted. I am weary. I am so ready for this little boy to sleep all night long without waking and crying. I honestly feel like my life has been on hold since his sleeping took a turn for the worse. I often don't get up before the boys in the morning because I am so tired from the night before. That leads me to walking around in my PJ's until after lunch when Eli takes a nap. And I HATE that. I often feel like I'm in a fog. I feel totally unmotivated most days because I am just tired. I'm ready for my husband to know he's actually going to get to sleep in our bed all night. He usually ends up sleeping on the couch 2-3 nights a week. On the nights when I can't get Eli back to sleep within an hour to an hour and a half, I usually just bring him to bed with me. Then I have to nurse Eli back to sleep in the bed.. and we do that all night long as he wakes up. And although many people find it easy to sleep in the bed with a child, I get very little sleep when Eli's in our bed. And I know the Hubs doesn't sleep well on the couch. The nights that Eli actually stays in the bed are the nights that I tough it out and rock him to sleep. Many times for over an hour. And he always gets up at least twice. I think sometimes broken sleep is worse than a small block of sleep. I'd rather get 5 hours of solid sleep than five hours of broken sleep.

I have begged God to help us with these problems... ears and sleep. And while I know it's not life or death, it is really beginning to put a strain on our lives. I'm praying that this visit to the ENT and the possibility of tubes will be our answer. To those of you who have read this far, thanks for listening to me whine and complain. I love my boys with all my heart! I am so thankful for them and every single minute, good and bad, I have with them. I just want my little boy to be healthy and I want to feel better so that I can do the job that God has called me!


Sassy Amie said...

I think it definitely sounds like tubes are in Eli's future! I hope that the ENT visit comes back with news that will help fix the problem! Just curious, how long do you plan on nursing Eli? Is there a certain age that you think you will stop at? What if he still wants to nurse when he is 2 1/2 or 3 years old?? Just wondering!

Crystal said...

Well Amie, in the beginning my goal was just to make it to the next day! Ha! I never, ever imagined nursing him this long. And if it were up to me he'd be done at 18 months. Which is this month! I really wanted to nurse him through the cold/flu season. And although he has been sick several times there is no way to tell what antibodies he has gotten from me that has prevented other sicknesses. The only thing that I know is that he's gotten lots of antibodies from my milk! There are a few factors that I'm 'waiting' on before I start to wean. One of those factors being his sleeping. I can't imagine how difficult it would be trying to get him to sleep if I weren't nursing him right now. I think that weaning him once he starts sleeping better will be so much easier than if I were to do it now. The second big factor would be for him to have a little better understanding to saying 'it's gone'. I know right now he doesn't get that. I just don't feel like he's ready. And unlike if he were taking a bottle where there would be danger of decaying teeth(, there are no health risks to him continuing breastfeeding. In fact there are only benefits. I will say that I do not plan on nursing him to 2.5-3 years. I would like for him to be weaned by 2 years. :)

Unknown said...

hi Crystal--
My youngest had tubes at 18 months due to many ear infections and a significant hearing impairment that we weren't even completely aware of initially. I'm glad we did it. It took more time to fill out the paperwork at the hospital than he was actually gone from our sight to have the surgery. It was SO worth it!
Christine in Maine